Monday, July 30, 2012

Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation...Review and Swatches!

I remember when Bare Escentuals mineral make up hit the Sephora scene in the early 2000's.  The idea of swirling some powder on a Kabuki brush (yet another addition to the makeup lover's vernacular during that time period...I know they have existed for centuries, but I venture to say that most of us weren't saying "Kabuki" before mineral makeup became mainstream!) and instantly buffing away all flaws was quite intoxicating.  I bought BE in "light" for the winter months and "medium tan" in the summer.  Despite the fact that it was supposed to offer perfect coverage, be so pure that you could sleep in it and actually improve one's skin with regular use, there was one blaring problem area...the finish.  Many of us can recall with horror the "disco ball" pallor that would develop as our face's natural oil mixed with the foundation.  Suddenly, once airbrushed pores became crater-like and pronounced and the mica-induced shimmer and shine took us well beyond the acceptable borderline of "glowy." About a year into my BE mineral makeup foray, I decided that it simply wasn't for me...the increasingly reflective surface of my face that developed with extended wear just wasn't flattering.  I felt it necessary to provide this brief history in order to put the product I am about to review in proper context.  My past experience with mineral makeup was not stellar; in turn, when I was given the chance to try the Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation, my reservations were intact!

Developed in 1996 by Pauline Youngblood, who desired to create a natural, calming, soothing makeup for patients during her time spent as a medical aesthetician, the Youngblood cosmetics line boasts pure ingredients that are cruelty free and safe for the most sensitive of skin types (like mine!).   Being a foundation fanatic, I was beyond curious about giving the highly-rated mineral makeup a try.  As with all foundation, I seek medium-to-full coverage, healthy ingredients and a lasting finish that looks authentic and does not degrade over time.  

Extremely minimal ingredients and no fragrance...this is a good start!

I was sent the shade Soft Beige, which is for fair to medium, slightly yellow skin.  This would be a perfect match for me in the winter months (approximately NC 25) but was a bit too light to look completely believable with my tanner body.

Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation in Soft Beige.

What is most remarkable about this product is how concentrated it is; only a little shake of this finely-milled powder is necessary to lend full coverage to the entire face! I used my Make Up Forever Kabuki Brush and my Hourglass Retractable Foundation Brush to apply the powder and both seamlessly buffed it into my skin.  Unlike the sometimes blotchy, overly shimmery finish of the BE, Youngblood smooths over the skin evenly, yielding an almost airbrushed effect that looks the same hours later (no touch up required!).

I swatched the foundation heavily to show its opacity and shade, but one would never opt to wear such a dense application on their face...the "buffed and blended" swatch shows how imperceptible it becomes once the proper amount melds with the skin.
Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation in Soft Beige...I made sure to take this at the end of the day to show its performance over time.  Surprisingly, it maintains its natural satin finish and does not get too shiny as the hours wear on! 
Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation in Warm Beige.

I was so intrigued with the wear and finish of the YB mineral powder that I procured the Warm Beige as an option to wear during the summer months.  Described on the Youngblood website as a "medium yellow" shade, it is perfect for my currently NC 30ish skin.  To its credit, it does not oxidize (at least on my skin), so finding a true match is imperative since it is so colorfast.

Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation in Warm Beige and Soft Beige side by side to illustrate contrast.

The enlarged images above and below reflect the "warm beige" buffed onto my skin (which by the way, takes a lightening fast 60 seconds to do properly...this should definitely save me some time during hectic mornings before teaching).  I made sure to take the pictures at the end of the day to showcase how fresh and even my skin ghastly disco ball shine...just a natural finish that shuns cakiness.             

Bottom Line: I haven't tried a mineral foundation that I like as much as Youngblood's in a long time!  After experimenting and becoming disillusioned with the subpar lasting power and excessive shine of a variety of mineral foundations from BE, Laura Mercier, Christian Dior, Smashbox and Jane Iredale, I thought that this particular type of makeup was not for me.  However, after using the Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation for over a week, I am happy to report that not only has it been kind to my sensitive skin, but it has restored my faith in mineral makeup's ability to create fantastic coverage and a clear, glowing countenance!

**PR sample provided for review, however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Edward Bess Secret Desire

Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Secret Desire is a lovely combination of pink, nude and peach.
Here is the third in a series of Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick reviews, this time for Secret Desire, a lovely peachy, pinky nude with no shimmer.  For formula details, read THIS.  This particular post will just include images to give you a better idea of the shade and texture of this beautiful lippy.

EB Secret Desire in direct sunlight.

EB Secret Desire alone on the lips.

Comparison swatches!
Bottom Line: Like other shades in this formula, Secret Desire is a medium coverage, creamy creation.  However, I find that this particular color is a little bit drying in comparison to Pure Impulse and Blush Allure (my favorite of the three).  The shade, however, is so flattering and unique that I still choose to wear it, albeit with a bit of balm underneath!

Enjoy these fresh beauty blog's time to read!

--The Beauty Professor

Friday, July 27, 2012

Liebster Blog Award #2!

I was just nominated for my second Liebster Award by fabulous blogger and dear friend Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog.  The rules for this blogger tradition are as follows:

1. Post 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and then create 11 questions for the bloggers you've nominated to answer.
3. Choose 11 people if you can (with less than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. tag backs!

11 Facts About Me:
1. I have never broken a bone.
2. I was home schooled until high school.
3. I know more about movies of the past (1920s-1960s) than the films of today.
4. I do all of my blogging on my trusty MacBook Pro.
5. I perform in a family band (FYG) with my mom, dad and brother...we play a fusion of R&B and jazz.
6. I am a huge Tom Selleck fan and also watch USA's Burn Notice every week!
7. I am a foundation junkie...I love to try new brands and formulations.
8. I never had any refined sugar when growing up...I was the kid her took her own carob cupcake to the birthday party ; )
9. I don't paint my fingernails (they stay much healthier and stronger that way!) but I always have my toenails painted...usually in Dior's Beige Safari.
10. The public speaking textbook that I co-authored comes out in August!
11. I don't leave the house without sunscreen on my face.

Lola's Questions for Me:
1. What compels you to blog? Why did you start a beauty blog? I love to blog because I never get tired of talking about makeup and if my swatches and reviews can help others to find their perfect match, I am motivated to keep on posting!
2. If you could pursue any profession other than your own, what would it be and why? I would love to be a private investigator...I enjoy observing people and am extremely curious; I think these qualities could be best maximized if I was a PI.
3. What is your very favorite luxury brand for eyeshadow? Lipstick? Blush? For eyeshadow, I love the Giorgio Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill formulation.  For lipstick, I prefer Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes and Rouge Bunny Rouge lip color.  For blush, it is a toss up between Sunday Riley Blushing and Rouge Bunny Rouge (Delicata, Starina).
4. Your greatest drugstore brand discovery (makeup or skincare) and why? Aveeno Moisturizer and John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo.
5. What is your idea of a perfect lipstick? It must be moisturizing, creamy, full coverage and pale pink-nude!
6. If you could sit and have a conversation with any person of historical significance (living or dead) who would it be and why? would be an honor to speak with him face to face.
7. What brings you the greatest pleasure in life? A quiet evening a home with those I love and no tasks hanging over my head!
8. What is your Holy Grail skincare product? Koh Gen Do Spa simple and truly amazing.
9. Foundation or tinted moisturizer? Foundation, hands down!
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be (other than where you live)? I'd like to try living in New York or Texas hill country.
11. What luxury brand do you find to be overrated? What luxury brand do you feel to be underrated? Overrated...La Mer...not the slightest bit impressed.  Underrated...Beauty Is is a beautiful makeup artist's brand that has very little presence online!

My Questions for the My Nominees:
1. What is your favorite lipstick shade?
2. If you could travel to another country to buy beauty products, which country would you choose and why?
3. What are your current beauty product "must haves?"
4. Describe the last vacation you took?
5. How many times a week do you post blog entries?
6. If you had to describe your blog in once sentence, what would that sentence be?
7. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? If not, why?
8. What is your favorite season for makeup collections?
9. What is one product you wish all your readers would try?
10. Who is your greatest influence?
11. Where do you see your blog in five years?

Who I Have Nominated:
Lather Rinse Repeat
Grace and Glitter
Fresh Look Beauty Blog
Never to Broke for Beauty 
Pink Flamingo Kisses
Beauty Ninja
Gee Bee Beauty
The Former Girl at Bar

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup for July 27th, 2012

Enjoy the latest and greatest from beauty blogs everywhere!

--The Beauty Professor
  • Pinked Polish: Wanna see a fabulous Glitter Gradient look no further!!!!
  • Makeup Chronicles:Take advantage of some great deals that ULTA has on Chi Irons, Philosophy, and Bare Minerals...oh and you can save 20% on your entire order!
  • Baking Beauty:Does Maybelline's SuperStay Stain gloss really last 10 hours? Click to find out!
  • Mama Fashionista: Mama Fashionista shares some great lines from Sally Hansen that will make your nails and your wallet happy!
  • Shades Of Beauty, Inc.: PREVIEW: Dickinson's Witch Hazel Skin Care Line
  • adore-a-polish: A neat little trick to get more out of your next bath bomb purchase.
  • My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog: Laura talks about another one of her favorite products on Taupe-tastic Tuesdays. Cargo Yukon is the definition of taupe.
  • GlitterPukee: Glitterpukee reviews one of the more interestingly named hair care brands. The sexually charged name of LAID hair care uses Phero-attract technology to keep you on the top of your game and seem more attractive to men. Six pheronomes are at work but..does it work?
  • Midnight Manicures
  • Join Midnight Manicures as Jeanie brings you the latest collections and products through the Tweezerman Ambassador program!
  • A Little Polish: Stephanie shows off her Thirst Quenching Pink Lemonade inspried Mani, a great way to cool off this summer!
  • Beauty Product Review: Getting tired of having a messy looking Makeup/skincare area? Clean it up with some beauty do-it-yourself tricks and beautify your beauty counter!
  • A Frugal Beauty: A Frugal Beauty shows you just how BOLD the I *heart* matte palette from Wet N Wild can be in her The Bold and Beautiful Series: The Bold Look
  • Sincerely Stephanie: Wanting to get your hands on Clarins 230 but don't want to pay the price? Check out Darling Diva Polish Ringer instead!
  • Très Beau Glamour: Did you know that Piña Coladas are great way to obtain beautiful skin? Nay Denise shares a new beauty secret of hers that will give your complexion a glow, give you a boost of energy and deliver a ton of hydration.
  • Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom: Want a sneak peak of Color Club's upcoming collections? Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom has a preview from Cosmoprof North America 2012!
  • Beauty Info Zone: Here's a chance to win two of the great products from Reviva Labs - Light Skin Peel and Seaweed Soap. Learn all about them and enter to win if you are in the US.
  • Mani Curiously: Dom tries to go On Safari with China Glaze's newest collection with these beautiful swatches and review!
  • Spontaneous Chick: If you're looking for a fuller pout check out my Jane Iredale review to see if her plumper is right for you.
  • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has finally found the perfect must-have nude lipstick! True Love from Susan Thompson Cosmetics is gorgeous with a remarkable formula, and it's Cruelty Free.
  • Beauty by Miss L: Miss L from Beauty by Miss L has reached to 1000+ followers on her blog and to celebrate that she did a small "Thank you giveaway" to all her lovely old & new followers.
  • Beauty Binge: Beauty Binge Highlights her Top 5 Drugstore Skincare Buys!
  • Beauty Professor: The Beauty Professor tries Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation...will it pass the test?
  • The Glossy Pages: A Beautiful World, Changemakers in Beauty | Meet Joshua Onysko, Founder of Pangea Organics
  • Emily Hudspeth, hair design and makeup artist: So grateful to have been chosen to receive the Influenster's Summer Beauty Voxbox. Check out what I got!
  • Captivating Claws: Captivating Claws has some gorgeous polishes from Enkelini to share with you.. plus a sweet GIVEAWAY!
  • Lacquered Lover: Lacquered Lover had the chance to check out Layla's ENTIRE new line of polishes including Hologram, Magnetic, Soft Touch and a Christmas Collection!
  • Lisa's Nail Obsession: I love the new Robin's Egg Nail Design. You will to...come and see it!
  • Gorgeousskin: Loving Giorgio Armani's Rusted Gold #25. See it in action here on my FOTD!
  • Cosmetics Aficionado: Cling wrap isn't just for the kitchen. Try this cute cling wrap manicure with my step by step tutorial.
  • Geniabeme Beauty Blog: Gradient nails are so pretty and easy! Take a look at Genia's pink and blue graident nails!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EB Pure Impulse

Here is Part II of a round of Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick swatches...earlier this week, I reviewed one of my absolute favorites, Blush Allure.  Next up is Pure Impulse, a true medium nude with slightly earthy rosy undertones.  For a detailed overview of the formula, I suggest reading the Blush Allure post, as I find that the EB formula is consistent across the shade spectrum.  Enjoy the following images of Pure is really a lovely nude!

Pure Impulse translates with much more nude-brown than its pinky-beige sister, Blush Allure.

Pure Impulse alone on the lips in the shade.

Pure Impulse alone on the lips in direct sunlight.

Bottom Line:  Pure Impulse is a beautiful, neutral true nude that mutes the lips without washing out the face.  Its creamy texture and subtle sheen impart a very natural look!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FOTD...Surf's Up!

Both pictures were taken after I had been in the water for about an hour.

 Living right by the beach allowed me to spend a lot of time surfing when I was younger...early mornings bobbing around in the sea with my dad and brother were a part growing up for me.  Truth be told, many years have passed since I've gotten on a board, but today, my darling (and rather persuasive) brother encouraged me to go with him.  Although surfing is certainly not the occasion for a "full face," a total lack of products is also not prudent.  

To prepare for the sun, wind and salty bath, I used the following products:

Monday, July 23, 2012

EB Blush Allure

The Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick comes in a glossy square case.
My attraction to pale pink and peach lipsticks is undeniable and, due to my constant acquisition, it is rare that I completely finish an entire product.  It is this singular fact which makes Edward Bess Ultra slick Lipstick in Blush Allure so special!

EB Blush Allure...halfway finished with my second tube!
Blush Allure was the very first Edward Bess product I bought...this creamy pale nude pink offers full coverage, a slight sheen and fantastic moisturizing properties.  I am now onto my second tube of this glorious pale color and couldn't be happier with my initial selection.

EB Blush Allure swatched in direct sunlight.
This lipstick formula possesses a light fig scent that dissipates quickly after application and wears for 3-4 hours, which is remarkable in light of its significantly creamy texture.

EB Blush Allure swatched in the shade.

Blush Allure alone on the lips in direct sunlight.
Blush Allure ranks #1 amongst my current Edward Bess lipsticks (with Secret Desire and Sundown as as noteworthy runner ups...swatches and reviews of these gems in the very near future!) due to its marvelous color and texture.  It most closely reminds me of a slightly lighter, creamier version of Rouge d' Armani Beige #103 (reviewed HERE) although this leans more pink than nude.

Blush Allure alone on the lips in the shade.

Bottom Line: The Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Blush Allure has proven to be one of my favorites...on countless occasions when I wear it, someone asks me what the shade is and where they can get it.  It is subtly sophisticated, moisturizing and universally flattering...highly recommended!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Illamasqua Skin Base 6.5

Here is a quick pictorial review of the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 6.5...I ordered this from Sephora last month, sight unseen, and did my best to color match based on other swatches I found online.  After trying it out for a FOTD (found HERE), I used it again a few nights later, thinking it was indeed the right match.  Intended to mimic the skin's natural finish and provide natural, buildable coverage, this foundation sounds like a dream come true.  However, it was a just a mediocre experience for me in the long run...

I really liked the packaging that the foundation comes in...sturdy, squeezable, with a nozzle tip to carefully dispense the product...this tube is light and trouble-free to tote in your makeup bag.  The only downside I could envision would be managing to get every last drop of the product as it nears the end.

According to everything that I read, shade 6.5 is a light-to-medium yellow based beige, however, in my experience, it is definitely more on the light, rather than medium, side and photographs even lighter (see the image at the end of this post!).  The foundation is relatively thick but blendable and, despite decent medium coverage, the finish was less skin-like than I had hoped for.  It lacks luminescence and borderlines on being a bit chalky (though it could be that this shade was just too light for me in general).

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation 6.5 swatched lightly and blended, then heavily in direct sunlight.
Skin Base 6.5 on the face...I found that this photographs considerably lighter than it look in person.  This was the chief  reason why I couldn't keep it!
Bottom Line: I wanted to like the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation but the fact that it photographs so "white"and has a slightly chalky finish dissuaded me from keeping is not earning a spot in my foundation team!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup for July 20th, 2012!

The latest and greatest from a collection of amazing beauty blogs!

Enjoy your reading time,

--The Beauty Professor

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Sensational Seven...Seven Products I Currently Adore

This is the first installment of "The Sensational Seven...Seven Products I Currently Adore."  As the weather has definitely warmed up, I am finding myself gravitating towards these seven products regularly...some are older, others quite new, but all work in harmony to give me a simple summer look that effortlessly withstands the heat.  Scroll down for details, descriptions and plenty of swatches at the end!

1. The Ellis Faas Skin Veil in #104 is a light foundation alternative for my moderately tanned summer skin.  The bullet shaped pen dispenses the liquid foundation directly into a built in brush that makes touch ups a breeze.  Sometimes I wear it alone for a very light veil and other times I mix a bit of it with my beloved Le Metier de Beaute (reviewed HERE).  I would liken shade #104 to an approximate NC 30 (scroll on for swatches) and am pleased with the formulation's sheer, glowing finish.

2. I recently placed my first Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics order after reading countless posts on lip tars and, most currently, their freshly available Skin Conceal.  This highly pigmented concealer can be worn over or under foundation to add a very believable layer of extra coverage, and can also be worn alone as a perfecting base.  Since it is so concentrated, only a dab is necessary for fantastic opacity and a natural finish.  I selected Y2, which is a light-to-medium, yellow-based beige (between NC 25 and NC 30).  Between its ability to conceal everything and still look like actual skin and its skin-friendly ingredients, this little gem is a find!

3. Giorgio Armani Beauty released a new cadre of Eyes to Kill shadows for Summer 2012 and, after seeing swatches online, picked up #24, which is light charcoal with gold flecks.  It reminds me of a darker version of my favorite ETK in #15 (which yields more obvious gold and bronze tones) and I am enjoying wearing it under my eyes for a subtle, super long lasting smokey finish (see pictures at end of post).

4.  The Chanel Extrait d' Gloss in Caprice (#67) is a new release for Fall 2012 at Nordstrom.  I really like the Extrait formula (and also own Genie) because it is hydrating, long lasting and rather thick (almost cushiony) without being sticky.  Recent reviews on Caprice have been mixed...some have reported it to be uninspired and not particularly exciting but I feel the opposite.  A pale peachy pink lip color in a fabulous formula is always exciting to me and I love wearing this alone (scroll on for lip swatch) or over other pale colors for a creamy finish.

5. I received Le Metier de Beaute's Blushing Bronzed Duet in Traviata when I visited Florida last month and only lately have realized what a treasure this two-toned powder is.  One part pale bronze and one part shimmering coral, I love mixing the colors to create a very believable bronzed flush that instantly brightens up the face.

6. and 7. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Divine and Hush are perhaps the most pigmented lip products I have ever worked with thus far.  Divine is a bright coral pink and Hush is an opaque pale nude pink...I like to wear these colors together because I am currently a bit too tan to get away with wearing Hush on its own.  Mixing is one of the assets for this product...the colors look so stunning when blended and combined.  The finish is semi-matte (I apply a swipe of La Prairie Lip Enhancer to smooth and hydrate first) and lasts about three hours...Lip Tar is a truly unique lip product!

Swatches of every product in natural light.

Close Ups from L-R: 1. Ellis Faas Skin Veil in #104, 2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin Conceal in Y2,
3. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Shadow in #24 and 4. Chanel Extrait d'Gloss in Caprice #67 in natural light.

Close Ups from L-R: 5. Le Metier Blushing Bronzed Duo in Traviata, 6. OCC Lip Tar in Divine and 7. OCC Lip Tar in Hush in natural light.

Chanel Extrait d'Gloss in Caprice (#67) alone on the lips.

All seven products are being worn in the images above...Ellis Faas Skin Veil and OCC Skin Conceal on the face,  LMdB Blushing Bronzer in Traviata on the cheeks and down the nose, GA Eyes to Kill #24 under the eyes and a combination of  OCC Lip Tars in Hush and Divine with Chanel Extrait d'Gloss in Caprice on top.
What about you?  Have you tried any of the "Sensational Seven?" What are you currently loving?

--The Beauty Professor ; )